Big Changes in Canada’s Business Immigration Programs

Canada's government has announced pivotal reforms to its Start-up Visa and Self-Employed Persons programs, aimed at reducing processing times and managing application backlogs. These changes were implemented starting April 30, 2024, under the guidance of Immigration Minister Marc Miller.

Cap on Start-up Visa Applications

The Start-up Visa program will now accept a maximum of 10 startups per designated organization each year. This measure will help streamline the processing and ensure more managed growth and support for new businesses in Canada. Priority will continue for entrepreneurs backed by substantial Canadian investment or those part of recognized business incubators.

Pause on Self-Employed Persons Program

The Self-Employed Persons program, catering to individuals with significant experience in arts, culture, sports, or recreation, will temporarily halt new applications until late 2026. This pause will allow the government to process the current backlog and reevaluate the program to better align with Canada’s cultural and economic objectives.

Broader Implications for Economic Growth

These reforms are designed not just to improve processing times but also to adapt to the evolving needs of the Canadian economy, ensuring it remains a top destination for innovative and entrepreneurial talent. The federal business category, under which these programs fall, is set to expand its newcomer allocation, reinforcing Canada’s commitment to supporting its economic expansion through strategic immigration policies.